Trial begins for Sparta man who allegedly killed grandfather with an axe

SPARTA (WKBT) — On June 6, 2021, then-37-year-old Thomas Aspseter allegedly used an axe to kill his grandfather, 87-year-old Bernard Waite, and severely wound two others at a home on Icarus Road in Sparta.

In Monroe County Circuit Court on Monday, 911 audio from the day of the incident was played for the jury during the prosecution’s opening statement.

On June 6, 2021, Aspseter shot himself in the neck after allegedly killing his grandfather and attacking two other relatives.

On Monday, the defense did not deny that Aspseter wielded an axe and took his grandfather’s life.

“These are facts that nobody can change forever,” said Defense Attorney Russell Hammer.

Aspseter is currently facing a series of charges: 1 count of first-degree intentional homicide, 2 counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and 2 counts of aggravated battery involving a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint.

Aspseter had been asked to leave his grandfather’s home in Sparta prior to the violent altercation on June 6, 2021. The incident happened immediately after Aspseter’s grandfather returned from a family function with two other relatives.

The prosecution alleged that Aspseter forced himself back into the home on Icarus Road using a crowbar after the locks had been changed. The defense countered, saying Aspseter did not break into the house.

Hammer suggested that Aspseter is a divorced father struggling to find a job and that he returned to his grandfather’s house before the deadly altercation because his previous attempts at working in other states didn’t pan out.

“He never had too many people close to him,” Hammer said.